There always seems to be two camps when it comes to photography: those who go by feel and those who go by technique. Neither one is necessarily a wrong approach but knowing the technical stuff definitely helps when you are faced with problems or unexpected results. In this video Mark Wallace explains the inverse square law and how it affects light falloff. I'll admit, not having gone to school for photography, it did take me a while to completely grasp this idea when I first started shooting. Once you understand this concept, you should be able to not only light your scenes better but also become more versatile when giving a single light double duty lighting both your subject and the background.
If you've ever been hired to photograph an environmental portrait or a lifestyle image, most of the time your client is expecting a very natural looking image. Using too much flash will kill the mood and remove any sense of a natural environment. Matthew Jordan is no stranger around here, and we love his videos because he articulates his intentions well and tells why he does the setups he does. In this short and to the point video, Matthew talks about how he photographed a natural lifestyle portrait of Vanessa Williams with her daughter. Knowing how to pull off an image like this is an important tool to have in your bag of tricks and is a big money maker in the editorial and lifestyle market.
Each year Gulf Photo Plus takes place in Dubai. During part of the show they pit 2 or more photographers against each other in a surprise photoshoot. Last year the shoot out involved Zack, Joey, and David Hobby of Strobist but this time Zack and Joey were the only shooters. This years subject was quite a surprise and a bit more difficult to shoot than the beautiful women they had last year. I'm not a huge fan of the finished images but I'm not sure what other options these guys had. Check out Zack's blog to read about his thought process while he was shooting.
I have to admit, I really enjoy the bands, artists, photographers and other creative professionals I discover watching Carson Daly's show Last Call. One such artist is Los Angeles based photographer Alex Prager. If I had to describe her work, it would be very editorial in nature with a lot of retro clothing, fashion wigs, and classic Americana references. What I find most inspiring about her work is that she holds nothing back when creating the bright and simple world found in her photographs. Almost every one of her images looks as if it was actually created in 1967 whether it be the hair style, the makeup, the clothing, the cultural references, or even the lighting and film grain. What's even more remarkable is her humble story on how she became a photographer with no formal training at all. If you enjoy this interview from MOMA then click the full post to watch more candid video of Alex talking about her work.
I can't remember the first time I saw this video by Gregory Crewdson but I'm glad it came across our desk again. Gregory is more or less a conceptual photographer who uses both sound stages and real locations to create images that make you stop and question what is going on in the shot. His lighting is very similar to what you would see on a big budget movie, and the amount of resources required for these sorts of productions is probably beyond what most photographers would even consider.
I'm a pretty big fan of Hip Hop music and I have seen every one of the pictures in these two videos. What I didn't know was that they were all taken by a single person. Jonathan Mannion is extremely talented but he also seemed to be around in exactly the right time to shoot the faces of this growing genre of music. Check out the full post for the second video.
I'm sure many of you are familiar with Help-Portrait, an organization of photographers who shoot free portraits to share their art and enrich others lives. Most photographers shoot free portraits around their communities but Sasha Leahovcenco wanted to shoot people that may never get the opportunity to have their picture taken at all. Sasha and his crew traveled to Chukotka, Russia and produced an amazing video of their experience.
I've seen a lot of videos that attempt to explain why you would use a beauty dish over a softbox but I've always had a hard time understanding the subtleties. Jay P Morgan created a video that not only explains everything in great detail, but he also shows 3 lighting examples with each type of dish configuration. If you have always wondered about the magic of the beauty dish, all your questions will now be answered.
When I received an email from Marie-Louise Cadosch saying she had a behind the scenes video featuring "Lord Vader" I may have rolled my eyes. Chances were good though that her photoshoot would be badass because her previous videos on Fstoppers are some of my favorites. I have come to expect the worst when photographers use famous super heroes or villains in their shoots, but what Marie-Louise did with this theme is pretty stunning. I can't remember the full story of the Twi'leks but the story told here in these images is pretty interesting. It looks like everything was shot with large softboxes in a cross lit position with a final key softbox up above. I'll try to get someone from Marc & Louis Photography to leave some additional information in the comments because these images are pretty cool.
Karl Taylor is an excellent photographer from England who has become a leading teacher in the "how to" photography market. In his latest video he explains a few lighting techniques he uses in the studio while shooting some crazy hair styles. Karl is using a single Elinchrom monolight but is pairing it up with two Canon 580EX flashes. In the video he explains why this setup is ideal for his lighting style and useful for many applications. If you enjoy his teaching, check out his instructional videos on his website as well as some crazy location photos in his port.
Bara Prasilova is a photographer and artist from Prague with quite a list of awards to her name . Recently she teamed up with Quicksilver Women in Europe and began photographing some of their ambassadors. What I love about her work is that she creates a very dreamy mood with muted colors and often unorthodox poses. Click the full post to view more photos from this session and head over to the news section of her website to view the entire collection.
Yuri Arcurs is perhaps the most well known photographer shooting microstock images in the world. His images are clean, inviting, crisp, and natural looking which are all important qualities needed to sell images in bulk. This video by Fototv might be the best video you watch all week because Yuri's tips are not only related to stock photographs but also hold true with almost any photograph requiring a model or human emotion. If you've never signed up to a stock website like Istockphoto, Fotolia, or Shutterstock, I'd recommend you at least try to get approved and test the waters for a few months. Nothing in my opinion strengthens your eye and photographic skills more than producing images that can sell in a highly competitive market like the stock agencies.
Over the last year, Douglas Sonders has created some excellent behind the scenes videos showing off many of his photo shoots. In this video he takes us onto the tarmac at the Lemoore Naval Air Station in California where Douglas creates some excellent portraits. I wish there was a little more explanation of how he approached some of these images but fortunately there is some written material over on the Douglas Sonders Blog. My initial question is how in the world did he get clearance for this considering the US military is often pretty strict with photography.
A few weeks ago Lee and I went out to Las Vegas to club it up check out WPPI which is the largest wedding convention in the US. While out there we were able to meet quite a few of our readers, check out the new gear at the Photoflex booth, and play with a lot of new photo related toys. One of the photographers we met was Michael Corsentino who teamed up with Photoflex in this behind the scenes video on outdoor bridals. Michael is using the new Photoflex Triton Flash along with an octabank and a stripbox to create some studio style portraits outside.